In this lesson I return their practice tests (Assessment Rehearsal) with a rubric. I do not have any marks on their paper as I don't want to distract them, however, I did make copies for myself for comparison. Students have never taken a performance assessment or used a rubric in class before and they are not used to having to explain their math to a math teacher. Allowing them time to figure out how to include all the elements of the rubric in their assessment helps them explain more completely how the ratio, percent, and graph show if two quantities are proportional or not. This helps to clarify the expectation and develop their argumentation skills. I really want to see them using the evidence to support their answers.
Each math family group is given a set of student samples from a different class showing tests from the previous lesson (Assessment Rehearsal). I tell them to look over them and try to decide what makes them samples of good work and what might make them better. I ask them what elements could they take from each to make the strongest possible answer. I also tell them to look for ideas that they might like to incorporate into their own work. Many students notice the organizational elements right away. They also pick out the ones with the most complete explanations.
Next I hand out the kid friendly rubric Top scores for proportionality test kid friendly and ask students to compare one of the student samples to it and figure out what the student could have added that would have improved the score. I tell them to use the rubric like a check list.
After students have practiced using the rubric to strengthen the samples I return their own tests to them and tell them to use the rubric to make changes to their assessment and make it a top scoring test. It is important for the teacher not to put any grade or comments on the paper, but to let them learn to critique and revise it on their own. Students really appreciate the opportunity to make revisions and corrections to their work and it supports the idea that mistakes are a natural part of the process. They love being given second chances and the work is always improved. Using rubrics or expectation guidelines is a good way to engage students in critiquing their own work and the work of others. It also helps students identify their own deficiencies and get additional help.
For students who did well on this assessment in class without the rubric I will grade it as a test. For those who did not do well I grade it based on the math that was done. If they simplified and scaled ratios correctly and calculated the percents correctly and correctly identified the proportional populations they did fine. But they get a second chance on the argumentation piece in the take home test.
Having the rubric translated into Spanish is absolutely necessary for ELL students. They will be able to produce better quality work if they understand the nuances and details that make the difference between good and excellent work. I think it is important to have translations done by a native speaker. I do not use translation software because phrases like "scaling up ratios" might turn out to say something about fish scales and will only serve to confuse students.
Before they take their assessments and rubrics home to work on them for homework I want to clarify the three mathematical tests for proportionality and I want to highlight two key elements from the rubric.
I ask students "what are the three ways to test for proportionality? How can we tell whose lady bugs are proportional?" I ask students to share with their group (only a few seconds) and then share with me one at a time. As each one comes up I ask how it (percent, ratio, graph) shows proportionality and also ask what it looks like if there is no proportion.
I ask students what elements they will be working on to improve their assessments tonight. The two I expect to be most prevalent are to work on organization and more complete explanations. I ask that they point out some good organizational elements they found in the rubric or one of the sample papers (labels, tables, keeping the work together in the same area). I remind them that their explanations should include how each mathematical tool (ratio, percent, and the graph) show proportion.